1928 - Alderson High School - 1968


The Bird And The Bees, And A Snake

Bobby Black - January 18, 2012

When I was twelve years old my Dad and I were visiting the old 300 acre Black farm near Pickaway, West Virginia.  My Dad, with his brother Cary Black, were fixing the old pump that supplied water up the steep hill... water for the home of my two old maid Aunts,  Aunt Stella and Aunt (Fats) Lelia.  (Aunt Lelia weighed 280 pounds so when my Dad and Uncle Cary got together for one of their bull sessions they would laugh, slap each other on their backs and generally have a good time discussing Aunt Lelia.  Of course, Aunt Lelia never got wind of this and it was probably just as well as she could no doubt whip both of them.)
Fixing the water pump was no easy task as it was old and was "jerry-wrinched" each time it was fixed.  So I stayed away from the men generally as it was just no place to be if you get my drift.  I had wondered to a nearby field that had been mowed early that morning and the two black work horses taken to the barn where they got a belly full of water, cleaned up and then put in the barn.
I new that Dad had  a poke full of sandwiches....  peanut butter and grape jelly I bet.... as Mom always said they "held up better."  Sure enough I found Dad resting on the ground outside the pump house.  "Where have you been Bobby?  I told you we would have sandwiches at noon... it's almost 12:30!!!"  "Yeah, well I did the best I could going by sun... you know I don't have a watch." I replied. 
"I saw a big copperhead snake out in the field over yonder," hoping to stop the yakking over me being a little late.  It worked.  Uncle Cary came along, reached in our bag, bent over and took a sandwich. "I doubt if it was a copperhead, Bobby.  We don't have many on this farm.  Dogs killed them all last summer.  Now that was as bunch of bull I thought but I kept quiet. Uncle Cary argued about everything.  Dad said this was because Uncle Cary was a Republican... whatever that is...
At Dad's request Mon put sulphur water in our gallon jug so Uncle Cary had nothing to drink.  Dad and I liked sulphur water.. poor Uncle Cary. A real pain in the butt this guy was....
"The snake I saw was as long as you two guys are tall I bet... 12 feet at most."  "OK," said my Dad, "that's enough out of you.  Was your snake in the shade?" "Yep."  "Then lets walk over there and take a look at this 12 foot snake...!!!??
As Dad and I walked along I was wondering what I was going to say when we found no snake.  Then I looked up and saw this big bird flying over our heads. "Hey, Dad. What the heck kind of bird is that... he's a big one, right?" "Yep, he's big alright.. and look there's another one over there.  Bobby, those two are Bald Eagles.  Pretty aren't they?"
"Oh, no."  Said my Dad.  " I think they are going to mate one another.... "OK, there're starting.... I'll tell you what they are doing... you can ask your Mother later about Bald Eagles mating.
"When two Bald Eagles court... you know... love one another...each bird fly slowly... the male above the female.  Then all at once the male swoops down towards his mate.  Then before she turns upside  down and pushes her big feet up.  Now while the two birds are locked together they start to tumble to the ground... kinda out of control.  But at the last minute the birds break free.  Now they go.. flying a part... flying in different directions."  "It's over, son.  All over."
"Dad, I didn't get much of what you said... and those birds went so fast.  I guess farm kids know all about birds courting and stuff."
"Ask your Mother like I said, that's her job." And that's all he said all the home to Alderson.  I should have stayed home and gone swimming.  Live and learn I always say.... 
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